Apr 5 – May 11
Gilliam Stage at Barter Theatre
“Undoubtedly, the funniest, wittiest show ever done by Barter Theatre.”
Book, Music and Lyrics by Ross Carter
It’s l’amour, y’all! Country music meets opera in the most unlikely, unbelievable and undoubtedly one of the most popular plays to ever come through Barter’s Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights. Carley, a struggling opera singer, has a dream: to sing the lead in Carmen. Her agent thinks she’s found the answer! But Carley finds herself singing at the West Virginia state fair with a country music band called The Car Men – Agents clash, everyone panics, and the singers erupt at the worst possible moments in one of the funniest musicals you will ever experience.
On MADAME BUTTERMILK – Director’s Thoughts
OPPOSITES DO ATTRACT
The opposites that attract in this glorious, hilarious musical by Ross Carter are not so much the characters that populate this wonderful story, but the audience that have so enjoyed and engaged in this show. Rarely have I experienced audiences of all ages and all backgrounds come together to laugh so hard, to enjoy the journey of this story and these characters so completely, and to leave the theatre so full of joy.
Even more surprising is that music lovers – from the avid country music fans to the devoted opera aficionados – equally enjoy the truly original and traditional integration of the combined musical styles so brilliantly woven into this story. Music fans of all tastes and styles seem genuinely pleased and excited by the music of this show.
And, of course, the joy of the story is that all of the couples who find their soul mates by the end of this adventure have found someone, who on the surface is their opposite and, yet, at the same time is someone who naturally fulfills them.
This seeming contradiction of opposites attracting is the beautiful theme of this play and is what ultimately is the basis for both the uproarious humor in the show and provides the opportunity for universality of the story.
It is also a theme for our time. In an age where we tend to pay attention to that which we already believe; where we tend to watch cable TV, movies, and read books that reinforce what we think we know or like; and where we tend to have friends or mates who hold opinions and philosophies or attitudes that agree with ours; we fail to open ourselves up to the opportunity to learn, to experience, to grow and, yes, even to find love.
In the end, the greatest theme of MADAME BUTTERMILK is that music and love win out overall. Shouldn’t this be true in our lives as well?
So let’s laugh, as they do in this play, at a world filled with silliness and miscommunication and misadventures, all of which are totally human and both real and ridiculous at the same time. In the end let’s enjoy the music that fills our lives. In the end let’s find love.
For in the musings of Nicholas Piper, for whom we all owe a debt of gratitude for his work in directing the previous productions of this show and helping the development of this script, “What is this? Is it country? Is it opera? Eventually you’ll throw your hands up and say, "Who cares??!! It’s l’amour, y’all!"
Richard Rose, Director of MADAME BUTTERMILK
Cast & Credits
Director: Richard Rose
Choreographer: Ashley Campos
Music Director: Dishon Smith
Set Design: Derek Smith
Costume Design: Ashley Campos
Sound Design: Tony Angelini
Stage Manager: Cindi A. Raebel
Assistant Stage Manager: Victoria L. Sutton
Fight Captain: Ashley Campos
Carly Speranza: Hannah Ingram
Kit McCandless: Kim Morgan Dean
Conor Duke: Andrew Hampton Livingston
Ford Fairlane: Rick McVey
Dody: Paris Bradstreet
Beemer Wilson: Zacchaeus Kimbrell
Jan Swaggart: Katherine Lyle
Art Flanagan: Rusty Allen
THE CAR MEN BAND
Guitar: Joey Porche
Bass: Jeff Elkins
Fiddle: Bethany Dawson
Drums: Jerry C. Greene
Conductor/Keyboards: Dishon Smith
Joe & Donna LeVine